By Patrick Rall
Included in the Chrysler Group’s 5 year plan that was released last week was a simple chart that showed the future of the Dodge brand and the most significant piece of news for the short term is the dates of arrival for the next generation SRT Challenger and Charger. This chart (as shown above) indicates that the refreshed 2015 Dodge Challenger will arrive in dealerships in July followed by the new Challenger SRT with the Hellcat Hemi in August while the 2015 Dodge Charger will arrive in October with the Charger SRT arriving in January.
Considering that the Chrysler Group plans to launch the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT in dealerships around the country in August, we will almost certainly see the new Hellcat powered Hemi in the next few months unless the automaker plans to introduce the car with an immediate dealership debut shortly after. Figure that the Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit falls in August so the company could use their huge WDC display to introduce the Hellcat Hemi SRT Challenger with the first units arriving in dealerships less than a few weeks later.
The Dodge Charger, which debuted last month at the New York International Auto Show, is expected to arrive in dealerships in October of this year in V6 and Hemi V8 R/T form with the striking new exterior design. The Hellcat Hemi powered Charger SRT will arrive in January 2015 – presumably as a 2016 model year vehicle unless the company plans to run a short model year for the 2015 SRT Charger (which I would consider to be pretty unlikely).
Finally, the 2014 Chrysler Group 5-year product plan for the Dodge brand indicated that there will be all-new versions of the Challenger and Charger in 2018. The “normal” Charger and Challenger will arrive in July 2018 as 2019 model year vehicles with the SRT version of both cars hitting the market in December of that same year, likely also as 2019 model year vehicles. Of course, that is a very long way off and things are likely to change between now and then so this information is far less important than the timing of the new Hellcat Hemi arrival.
In any case, the new SRT Challenger powered by the supercharged Hellcat Hemi should be revealed to the world and rolling into dealerships around the country before the end of the summer with the Hellcat Charger arriving shortly after Christmas – possibly around the time of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.